How Does Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia is spread when a person has unprotected sex with an infected person.
Because chlamydial infection often has no symptoms, many people do not realise they have the infection.
Even if you know a person well, you may not be able to tell they have an STI, because people can look healthy and still have chlamydia.
Remember, you can get chlamydia and other STIs from a new sexual partner who has in the past had sex with someone who is infected.
It can also be spread from a long-term partner who has had sex with other people.
Youre Not Immune To Chlamydia Once Youve Had It
Once youve had some diseases, you cant catch them again. Unfortunately, this isnt true for chlamydia. Repeat chlamydia infections are common.
If youve had chlamydia in the past, you have no immunity against the infection. If youre sexually active with somebody who has the infection, you could catch it again. Since reinfection is common, you should get tested for chlamydia about three months after being treated for the infection.
How Do You Treat Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider.
It is important to complete the full treatment, as prescribed by your healthcare provider, even if symptoms go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotics. Also, do not share your medicine with anyone or take someone elses.
Some healthcare providers may give a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner so you do not re-infect each other or anyone else. Do not have sex until you have finished treatment.
Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure the infection is gone and you were not re-exposed.
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How To Reduce Your Risk Of Getting Chlamydia
Here are some ways to decrease your risk of getting chlamydia:
- Use condoms when you have sex.
- Get a sexual health check-up at least once a year. This should include tests for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea. If you often change sexual partners, get more frequent check-ups.
- Three months after youve finished treatment for chlamydia, you should get tested to check that youve not been re-infected. Its common to be reinfected with chlamydia.
- Inform your sexual partners about your chlamydia. Anyone you have had sex with in the last 6 months should be tested. If theyre not told or treated, they could infect someone else or reinfect you. Offering this information will help stop the spread of chlamydia in your community.
Chlamydia Symptoms In Women
In cases of chlamydia where symptoms occur, women may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain or a burning sensation while urinating
- Abnormal vaginal discharge that may be watery or milky
- Inflamed eyelids
Advanced chlamydia may cause additional symptoms in women. The following symptoms indicate that chlamydia infection has spread to the fallopian tubes:
- Pain during sex
- Nausea or fever
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How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia
Chlamydia often has no symptoms, but it can cause serious health problems, even without symptoms. If symptoms occur, they may not appear until several weeks after having sex with a partner who has chlamydia.
Even when chlamydia has no symptoms, it can damage a womans reproductive system. Women with symptoms may notice
- An abnormal vaginal discharge and
- A burning sensation when peeing.
Symptoms in men can include
- A burning sensation when peeing and
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles .
See a healthcare provider if you notice any of these symptoms. You should also see a provider if your partner has an STD or symptoms of one. Symptoms can include
- An unusual sore
Whats The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is usually easy to get rid of. Your nurse or doctor will get you antibiotics to treat the infection. Sometimes you only have to take one dose of medication. Another chlamydia treatment lasts for 7 days. Your doctor will help you figure out which treatment is best for you.
If youre treated for chlamydia, its really important for your sexual partners to get treated also. Otherwise, you can keep passing the infection back and forth, or to other people. Sometimes your doctor will give you medicine for both you and your partner.
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Can You Have Chlamydia For Years
You can have chlamydia for years if it is left untreated. Chlamydia, if left untreated for many years may cause a low grade infection without symptoms.
It could potentially flare up to cause a symptomatic infection, especially if there is an alteration in the persons immune system, such as a severe cold or flu, cancer or some other severe illness.
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What Happens If I Get Chlamydia When I’m Pregnant
- Chlamydia during pregnancy has been associated in very rare cases with problems such as premature birth, and infection of the uterus lining after the birth.
- It can be passed to the baby during the birth and before the baby is born. This can cause inflammation and discharge in the babys eye and/or pneumonia.
- You may be offered a chlamydia test as part of your antenatal care.
- Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics when youre pregnant and when youre breastfeeding. The antibiotics wont harm the baby, but do tell the doctor or nurse that youre pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Youll be advised to have another test after you complete your treatment.
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Why Do You Have To Wait 3 Months To Get Tested For Chlamydia
In fact, women who become reinfected with chlamydia have an even higher risk for PID and ectopic pregnancy than those with a first infection. Due to these risks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that any person who tests positive for chlamydia be retested three months after treatment.
Chlamydia Can Harm Your Pregnancy Or Reproductive Health
Can chlamydia harm your unborn baby or your future reproductive health? Many people will say no, but thats not true. The infection can cause complications for both pregnancy and fertility.
Chlamydia can cause many complications for pregnant women and their babies. When the infection is left untreated, it can cause preterm delivery. Babies who are born prematurely can have problems with their lungs, hearts, or brains. The infection can spread to the baby, resulting in pneumonia, eye infections, and other complications. Due to these risks, pregnant women are routinely screened for chlamydia.
Chlamydia can cause many complications for pregnant women and their babies. When the infection is left untreated, it can cause preterm delivery.
Chlamydia can also cause complications for women who want to get pregnant. If untreated chlamydia spreads to other parts of the reproductive system, like the uterus, those tissues can be damaged. This can cause infertility. Damage to the uterine tubes could also result in an ectopic pregnancy. This means a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus, usually inside the uterine tube. These pregnancies arent sustainable and may put the mothers life at risk.
There are many myths that are circulating about this common sexually transmitted infection. If youre concerned about chlamydia, see your doctor to get tested.
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Chlamydia Complications: What Can Happen If It Is Not Treated
With more than 200.000 new cases diagnosed every year, chlamydia is without doubt the single most common sexually transmitted infection within the UK. This condition is often asymptomatic in a significant portion of those affected around 50% of men and up to 80% of women can have chlamydia without even knowing it, which makes STI testing all the more important if you are sexually active and practice unprotected sex.
If the condition is diagnosed early and treated properly on time, the infection can be easily cured without any long-term adverse effects on an individuals health and wellbeing. However, if the condition is left untreated, chlamydia can cause serious health issues and complications. In this article, we will explore various complications that can arise from untreated chlamydia.
In women, these include:
- General malaise
- Nausea and vomiting
According to numerous studies, around 10 to 15% of women affected by chlamydia will develop PID within 12 months if they dont seek timely treatment for their condition. Some scientists also speculate that untreated STIs that result in PID can also cause various fertility problems.
How To Help Avoid Oral Chlamydia
The most effective way to avoid getting oral chlamydia is to refrain from engaging in any form of sexual activity. However, its understandable that this prevention method may not be ideal or realistic for many people.
If youre in need of chlamydia testing, visit Solv today to browse and locate chlamydia testing providers in your area. Solv can help you find a walk-in clinic in your area that offers same-day STD testing, as well as lab testing for other health conditions.
Michael is an experienced healthcare marketer and father of two. He has worked alongside healthcare leader at Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, St. Lukeâs, Baylor Scott and White, HCA, and many more, and currently leads growth marketing at Solv.
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Treatment And Medication Options For Chlamydia
A course of antibiotics is the treatment for chlamydia. Your doctor will decide which drug to prescribe, and at what dose, according to your individual medical needs and other aspects of your situation.
Its important to abstain from having sex until seven days after the start of your antibiotic treatment, to prevent the transmission of chlamydia to a sexual partner. If you have a partner who is being treated for chlamydia, the same recommendation applies to them.
If you have symptoms that persist for more than a few days after you start your treatment, see your doctor again to be reevaluated.
Because the symptoms of chlamydia are similar to those of gonorrhea, you should be treated for both infections if you test positive for chlamydia. Thats because its often faster and cheaper to just treat both infections than to order another test for gonorrhea after a positive test result for chlamydia.
After completing your antibiotic treatment for chlamydia, youll need to get tested again after three to four months or earlier, if recommended to check for reinfection.
While antibiotics can cure chlamydia, they cant reverse any permanent damage caused by the infection.
How Quickly Do Symptoms Show
In many cases, chlamydia symptoms do not show up at all, making it possible for the infection to lie dormant in the body and cause long-term side effects when not treated.
If someone with chlamydia does experience symptoms, the time it takes for them to show up may vary.
For most people, though, it takes about 7-21 days after having unprotected sex with an infected partner. However, it can take longer.
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Racial Disparity And Chlamydia
The prevalence of chlamydia is drastically different across racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Overall, Black, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander women have the highest rates of chlamydia, according to the CDC.
In 2017, the reported rate of chlamydia in Black Americans was 5.6 times the rate of white Americans. Among Native Americans and Alaska Natives, this number was 3.7, and for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, it was 3.4. Hispanic Americans were 1.9 times as likely to have chlamydia as white Americans, while Asian Americans were only 0.6 times as likely.
Among young women ages 14 to 24, the CDC estimates that the prevalence of chlamydia is about 10 percent for Mexican Americans, and about 8 percent for Black girls and women. This number is only about 2 percent for non-Hispanic white girls and women.
Antibiotics Are A Highly Effective Cure For Chlamydia Infection
Antibiotics prescribed for chlamydia include:
A single oral dose of Zithromax is the most common treatment. Other drugs may be given in varying doses for a period of up to a week. Most cases of chlamydia clear up within a week after you start on antibiotics.
If you think you have been exposed to chlamydia, Stoner says, see your healthcare provider to receive antibiotic medication to prevent the onset of infection.
The partners of individuals diagnosed with chlamydia will need treatment, too, and in some states they can get it without a doctor visit through a practice called expedited partner therapy, in which the first person treated delivers the treatment to their partner or partners.
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Im Pregnant How Does Chlamydia Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection to your baby during delivery. This could cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your newborn. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby too early.
If you are pregnant, you should get tested for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Isn’t Treated
Only some people who have chlamydia will have complications. If chlamydia is treated early, its unlikely to cause any long-term problems. But, without proper treatment, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. The more times you have chlamydia the more likely you are to get complications.
- If you have a vulva, chlamydia can spread to other reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease . This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy .
- In people with a vulva, chlamydia can also cause pain and inflammation around the liver, though this is rare. This usually gets better with the correct antibiotic treatment.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Is Not Treated
Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Women with PID may not realize they have it, but left untreated it can cause pain, infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
Pregnant women with untreated chlamydia can pass it to their babies during childbirth. It can cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and also increase the risk of delivering your baby too early.
In men, chlamydia can spread to the epididymis , and can cause chronic joint pain and infertility for some.
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How To Help Partners Get Treatment
If you are not sure whether your sexual partner will seek treatment, ask your doctor for extra chlamydia medication . You can give it to them so they can be treated as soon as possible.
This is known as patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia. Talk to your doctor to see if PDPT is right for you and your sexual partner.
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Does Your Partner Need To Get Treated Too
If you have a sexual partner, or if youve recently had sex with someone, talk with them about your chlamydia diagnosis. Theyll need to get tested and treated, too.
If your sexual partner doesnt seek treatment, theres a risk that they can transmit it back to you, even after your infection has been cured.
How Accurate Are The Tests
The accuracy of a chlamydia test depends on the kind of test used and the type of sample thats collected. The recommended tests are over 95% accurate in picking up chlamydia. As no test is 100% accurate theres a small chance that the test will give a negative result when you do have chlamydia. This is known as a false negative result. This can sometimes explain why you might get a different result from another test or why you and a partner might get a different test result.
Its possible for the test to be positive if you havent got chlamydia, but this is rare.
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How Can I Treat Chlamydia Without Going To The Doctor
The recommended treatment for chlamydia is a single dose of azithromycin 1 g taken orally or doxycycline 100 mg taken orally twice a day for 7 days. Alternative chlamydia treatments include: erythromycin base 500 mg taken 4 times a day for 7 days. erythromycin ethylsucciante 800 mg taken 4 times a day for 7 days.
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What Happens If You Dont Get Treated For Chlamydia
Even though chlamydia is common and doesnt usually cause any symptoms, it can become a big deal if its not caught and treated early.
Chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes if it goes untreated for a long time. This can cause you to have pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage that leads to pain, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. So getting tested regularly for chlamydia really lowers your chances of getting PID.
Having chlamydia may increase your chances of getting or spreading HIV.
If you have chlamydia during your pregnancy and dont treat it, you can pass it to your baby when youre giving birth. Chlamydia can also cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and it also increases the risk of delivering your baby too early.
Testing and treatment for chlamydia is quick, easy, and the best way to avoid all of these problems.
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A Word From Same Day Std Testing
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